Do you tell them that you are a cake business and you want to compare your prices to their prices?
Do you pretend to be a client?
How do you word this question?
I ask this for 2 reasons: a)i want to contact my 'competition' and do a price comparison b) because I'm wondering if some of my emails lately are my competition asking me about my prices
I usually hire a past bride to make calls for me.
But I also post my prices online.
A past bride... that's smart. It would feel more honest than doing it yourself... You're always thinking Leahs
Either me or my daughter will call pretending to be the sister of the bride who is in charge of getting cake information "....because if we depend on this bride to do it, we'll all be eating twinkies!" If you're trying to do it undercover, don't use key industry words ... don't sound informed. Most brides have no idea the difference between gumpaste and fondant and won't ask for pricing for those. A bride MIGHT mention "I've seen different kinds of flowers on the Food Channel ... do you do those?"
But like leahs, I post my prices front and center. I even have a Budget Wizard the bride can download so she can figure her buffet/cake costs down to the dime.
I just had someone call me and claim that they were culinary school student doing research! I was like, what the heck I don't have anything to hide, i answered most of her questions. Later when i thought about it i figured out, yup, that was probably my competition checking me out. You're free to use that one!
i post my prices online, too, but im sure some of the calls/emails i get are from word of mouth or business cards that have been passed around.
Twice a year, I hire a marketing intern to " bride spy" for me. I give her a picture of a cake and ask her to get quotes and other information from 3 different vendors.
I am hopfully going to have my bus. going by the end of the year in time for the bridal show here, but is this how you tel how much you should charge? These are some good ways! I checked out prices at the last bridal show and most of the cakes were 2.00 a serving for buttercream but I have no idea since no one here does fondant, so my comp. wouldnt do me any good anyway! What else do you ask besides the prices?
Potential questions .... remember, I'm an uninformed sister of the bride who knows NOTHING about cakes:
"$2.00 a serving ... now what does that cover? She told me she wants some white and some chocolate cake ... is that possible? (If they don't offer info on an upcharge for 2 flavors, then ask .....) One place I checked with charged extra for two flavors ... do you do that? So she can have any flavor she wants and there's no extra charge? (Leading question that invites them to tell you their premium flavors, if they have any).
"She watches the food channel all the time (listen for the big sigh at the other end of the phone. ) and has said she likes this fondent stuff (yes, mispronounce it so you sound like a cake civilian). Can you actually eat this stuff? And she can get that for the $2 price?" (oh, you should get a big laugh at that one! )
Final question should always be "Is there anything else about ordering a wedding cake that I need to know?"
"She watches the food channel all the time (listen for the big sigh at the other end of the phone. ) and has said she likes this fondent stuff (yes, mispronounce it so you sound like a cake civilian).
I love it! Mispronounce it so you sound like a cake civilian!!
HA!!!! My mom and I are always arguing over how to pronounce it. She says fondent is right. So glad I can now tell her she is a cake civilian.
Oh this is interesting! You are all incognito! I'll admit that I have a fake email address through yahoo that I have used.
I had a studenta a few years back that repeatedly called it fondue, and I kept saying fondant.
Never did try a cake covered in fondue.
I dont' get them so much now, because my pricing is posted online, but back in the day before the internet (yes, Virginia, there WAS a time that we had to do stuff via the post office and phone calls), I got to where I could recognize a competitor price check call right away.
They were TOO informed, asked TOO many of the right questions, and the big one was they said it was a big wedding (300 people), which would pique my interest in booking this, but the date was always far out in the future so no decision had to be made right now.
(see, Virginia, back then, people didn't plan weddings over a year in advance, so if they told me the wedding was 9 or 10 months from now, then we all took the "oh, then just call me in a few months" stance, because they were just info-shopping.)
I especially loved the one wedding facility who would call me every few months. The owner and I had this love-hate thing going. (See, she thought she was the only one who knew anything about weddings ... and I knew that wasn't true! ). I knew it was them because they'd ALWAYS ask me "...we're planning on getting married at this one place .... have you worked in there and what are they like?" NO other callers ever asked this question, so I knew they were trying to find out what I was telling brides about them.
I always gave them a glowing reivew!
indydebi that is too funny! I cant believe they would call and ask the same question